Script for Radio Feature
[Intro: Audio from MMA fight. Fade Down to ‘music bed’]
Narrator: Martial Arts. Sometimes seen as a dangerous and intimidating sport. But who are the kind of people that participate? And do the rest of us have any REAL reason to be afraid? We aim to find out in the next 15 minutes.
[Fade Up. Audience Applause / Bell Ring at end of fight. Fade Out.]
Narrator: Judo, Karate, Mixed Martial Arts and Kick-boxing are all forms of combat sport. The Japanese introduced us to both Judo, in the early 1900s, and Karate later on in the 1950s. This was because of World War 2.
Martial Arts Master and Actor, Chuck Norris, learnt his karate skills whilst serving with the US Air Force in South Korea. After completing service, he then made a career out of his new-found knowledge. [Insert Sound Effects of fighting]
Meanwhile Kick-boxing and the MMA – or Mixed Martial Arts – then arrived in the late 20th Century, bringing with them new techniques and mindsets in combat situations. As fairly new sports, they are sometimes misunderstood. But how do these sports differ? And more importantly, who are the people that get involved?
Insert ‘Intros’ of Interviewees.
Narrator: Judo combines defense and attack in a one-on-one battle. The competitors aim is to beat the other through holds and throws on a 14 meter-squared mat. It is a self-defense sport with a battle lasting no longer than 5 minutes. [INSERT AUDIO]
Karate is also a self-defense sport. It never relies on weapons and instead teaches the art of how to use your own body and strength to defeat an opponent. The main focus of Karate is the element of self-control and the pursuit of becoming a more responsible person. [INSERT AUDIO]
Kick-Boxing also contributes a lot of its learning to self-control and responsibility. For a competition fight, there are usually 3 rounds lasting 3 minutes and the winner is determined by the Judges. Most kicks and boxing punches are allowed however any direct attacks on joints, pulling your opponents head to your knees or using your elbows is forbidden. [INSERT AUDIO]
Mixed Martial Arts involves different weight divisions, ranging from ‘flyweight’ at 125 pounds and under, to ‘super heavyweight’ at over 265 pounds. Fights usually take place in a fenced or ringed arena where the contestants use a series of strikes, kicks, holds and grapples to win. There are 3 rounds lasting no more than 5 minutes separately and a 1 minute rest period in between each. Judges then score and decide upon the winner at the end of the fight. MMA was designed to distinguish what the most effective martial arts moves are in an unarmed combat situation. [INSERT AUDIO]
Insert VOX-POPS of ‘Influences’.
Narrator: We’ve been exposed to fighting all our lives. Ranging back to the World Wars, toys, television, nights out … Influences to join sports come in all shapes and forms. But could exposure to fighting games, such as Tekken, Dead or Alive or even Grand Theft Auto be encouraging the younger generation to want to fight? More recently, the re-make of the 80s classic, The Karate Kid, had the British Board of Film Classification of a PG. This meant that children of any age could see with the film with their parents. Cartoons such as Kung Fu Panda are also encouraging children as young as 3 to take up a martial arts sport according to the Telegraph. But are these really the influences that spark an interest to join combat clubs?
Insert Interviewees ‘Influences’.
Insert Interviewees ‘Children’.
Narrator: Bullying is a major dilemma within our schools. The National Bullying Survey claims that “34% of those physically hurt required attention from a Doctor or hospital”. Is it little surprise then that parents are encouraging their children to take part in extra-curricular activities such as Kick-boxing and Karate? With children showing more of an interest in combat fighting, and their parents encouraging them to develop self-defense, should we be concerned?
Insert VOX-POPS of ‘Children’.
Insert VOX-POPS of ‘Women’.
Narrator: So getting involved in Martial Arts isn’t just a defense mechanism, but also a fitness measure. So maybe the REAL question is – should we be so judgmental about the sport being so supposedly ‘lethal’? If all ages, abilities and genders are taking part, then surely the sports can’t be that dangerous or influential…
Insert Interviewees on ‘Injuries’.
Narrator: Perhaps injuries are just to be expected from taking part in a combat sport. But in very rare cases, there have been known to be deaths due to fight competitions. More recently in 2010, amateur MMA fighter Michael Kirkham suffered a brain haemorrhage and died because of a fight in South Carolina. This is one of two deaths as a direct result of Mixed Martial Arts fighting in the state. Precautions are always taken before a match, with fighters completing a complete physical examination, but sometimes injury cannot be avoided. Fighting in a competition is one thing, but fighting on the streets is a serious matter. This is one thing that isn’t accepted across the board of all combat sports.
Insert Interviewees on ‘Fighting’.
Narrator: The benefits of martial arts outweigh the negatives, including improvements to mental health such as self-discipline, self-confidence, self-esteem and concentration. For many it is an alternative to being in the gym, for others a way to socialise and for many the knowledge on how to defend oneself if the need should arise. Whatever the influence, combat sports look set to stay for now, so why not give it a go yourself and see what you think.
Sites which helped us towards writing the script: